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Texas cancer agency OK'd faulty $11M grant

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 29, 2012 at 6:32 pm •  Published: November 29, 2012

The agency's statement did not explain how Pelton's application made it through the process without anyone noticing that a review never took place. It only said that Cobbs "improperly included" the proposal in a slate of other recommendations to the oversight committee in December 2010.

Attempts by the AP to reach Cobbs were not immediately successful Thursday evening.

Bill Gimson, the executive director of CPRIT who vowed that his reeling agency would recover from the growing onslaught of criticism at its annual conference in October, said in response to the audit's findings that the agency must have the state's trust.

"We proactively initiated this comprehensive review in the effort to be transparent and ensure good stewardship," Gimson said.

Peloton's funding has been halted and that the company's application is undergoing a second review, the agency said.

Started behind a push led by cancer survivor Lance Armstrong and Perry, CPRIT spent most of its first five years basking in praise and industry awe of the unprecedented amount of taxpayer dollars committed to a state-run, cancer-fighting effort. But those plaudits abruptly gave way to rebukes starting in May, and the fissures came from within.

Dr. Alfred Gilman, the agency's chief scientific officer and a Nobel laureate, announced his resignation following a $20 million award that never received a full scientific review. The money was for a so-called incubator project at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, one of the country's top research institutes.

Gilman accused the agency's oversight board of ramrodding the project through the application process, despite the proposal being just six pages long. Gimson has said the type of proposal didn't require a full scientific review under agency rules but has since conceded missteps in how that award was handled.


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